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Parisian drugs.

Last summer, I brought a friend to Paris with me for a séjour comprised of five days, planning to see all the sights we could possibly cram into that short week. (Despite my going back there every five months or so after moving from France to Britain when I was five, I never took the tine to appreciate the hotspots of the city.) If I’m honest, I’ve always preferred the UK to Paris (something about the ethics and culture) but it was completely different when I brought someone else along for the ride, the famous city being placed under the microscope. It became even clearer that Paris isn’t the picture-perfect fairyland you’ve been lead to believe. Turns out the Eiffel Tower is just a heap of metal and the rats that skitter under the métro tracks aren’t as friendly as the ones Disney sketched out. The aroma of beautiful, artisan coffee is soon replaced by the stench of ashy cigarettes, and trust me, the graffiti hurriedly sprawled on any kind of free space quickly becomes a lot less ‘artistic’ and a lot more distasteful. 
On one particularly hot afternoon, after an unpleasantly sticky métro ride, we spilled out onto the streets of paris and only wandered about 200 metres before I saw a sight that has been burned into my brain since. A homeless man was hobbling past us, his sign in one hand and his other weathered hand desperately clutching a syringe. Now the homeless population of France is disgustingly high and shockingly visible in everday life, so (unfortunately) this wasn’t the aspect of this disturbing sight that shook me so much. I was astounded that he was carrying on something so unsustainable, regardless of whatever position you are in, especially in his situation. Acknowledging that this massive issue could possibly have been the cause of this (financial and emotional) mess to begin with, this was one of the first time I fully began to understand the devastating effects of drug use.

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